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Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are turning 40. But instead of celebrating, they're mired in a mid-life crisis with unruly kids, debt and unhappiness mounding. Pete's record label is failing and Debbie is unable to come to terms with her aging body. As Pete's 40th birthday party arrives, Pete and Debbie are going to have to rely on family, friends, employees, fitness trainers, aging rockers and ultimately each other to come to terms with life at age 40. Written by
A good rule of thumb is any movie where Jason Segal has the funnier lines probably shouldn't have been made. This seemingly endless stream of hormonal tirades was difficult to say the least. Leslie Mann pulled this off once in Knocked Up. Which was a delightful film by comparison. But in This is 40 I could not find one sympathetic thing about her character or any of the characters for that matter. Part of the problem is KnockedUp was made before this basic cast was in every other film that came out. I kept waiting for Jonah Hill to happen by and suck up what little oxygen Leslie Mann hadn't already used. I am a fan of Judd Apatow. He's a comedy geek's comedy geek. Hence the casting of the brilliant veteran comedy writer Robert Smigel as the buddy of Pete. So I settled in to watch and see what Smigel could do as an actor. But he had two scenes in this nearly two and a half hour film. Guess they cut some of his scenes to make room for some more where Leslie Mann gets angry over nothing and curses and screams for half an hour. I was also excited to see Jim Brooks as Pete's father. He receives lots of screen time and is the second least sympathetic character. I do admire Apatow for having the courage to try and combine work and home by just putting his family on screen. But why so mundane? It's compelling when a film depicts regular people in not so regular situations. This film is made up of regular people who live in southern California and drive BMW's and Lexi and complain constantly about things that happen to everyone. It's exhausting. I will not give any attention to the children in this review as it is clear that they have received far too much attention already. On a strictly "laugh o meter" scale this film is not completely devoid of humor. Like say, Funny People. In fact, Funny People makes This is 40 look like The Jerk. Paul Rudd does fine as usual,and Megan Fox is great eye candy and "hottie relief". Here's hoping that this is the end of Apatow's tacky Cassavetes period.
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